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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 787396, 11 pages
Review Article

Glutamatergic Transmission: A Matter of Three

Laboratorio de Neurotoxicología, Departamento de Toxicología, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Apartado Postal 14-740, 07300 México, DF, Mexico

Received 3 February 2015; Accepted 18 March 2015

Academic Editor: Tomas Bellamy

Copyright © 2015 Zila Martínez-Lozada and Arturo Ortega. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glutamatergic transmission in the vertebrate brain requires the involvement of glia cells, in a continuous molecular dialogue. Glial glutamate receptors and transporters are key molecules that sense synaptic activity and by these means modify their physiology in the short and long term. Posttranslational modifications that regulate protein-protein interactions and modulate transmitter removal are triggered in glial cells by neuronal released glutamate. Moreover, glutamate signaling cascades in these cells are linked to transcriptional and translational control and are critically involved in the control of the so-called glutamate/glutamine shuttle and by these means in glutamatergic neurotransmission. In this contribution, we summarize our current understanding of the biochemical consequences of glutamate synaptic activity in their surrounding partners and dissect the molecular mechanisms that allow neurons to take control of glia physiology to ensure proper glutamate-mediated neuronal communication.